Group takes on Fareham borough in fight for parish council

Funtley residents pictured in 2014, when they were hoping to set up the parish council. From left, Elaine Tower, Ro Petrazzini, Helen Hallett, Ed Morell, Ruth Saunders, Adrian Saunders and Jason Mudge

Funtley residents pictured in 2014, when they were hoping to set up the parish council. From left, Elaine Tower, Ro Petrazzini, Helen Hallett, Ed Morell, Ruth Saunders, Adrian Saunders and Jason Mudge

There will be an explosion of flowers at the Bishops Waltham Blooming Art Festival 	          Picture Paul Carter

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  • Group says consultation in favour of the creation of a parish council was ignored
  • Council to decide in meeting next Thursday
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A LOCAL authority has been accused of patronising residents over plans to set up a new parish council in Fareham.

Community group Funtley Village Society (FVS) has criticised Fareham Borough Council after a report published yesterday recommended that the local authority does not give the village its own parish council.

They are effectively patronising us and this is now a democratic issue

Ed Morell, chairman of Funtley Village Society

The report follows a consultation with Funtley residents last year in which 74.5 per cent of residents were in favour of the formation of a parish council for the village.

It read: ‘The preferred option is to make no change to the existing governance arrangements and thereby not to create a parish council but to enable the residents of Funtley to have a greater say through the work of ward councillors and Funtley Village Society, thus cementing community cohesion.’

The report also said: ‘It is the council’s belief that the requirements of the Funtley Village Society and Funtley residents can be met by existing arrangements, without the need for imposing any additional costs on residents.’

In response to the decision, Ed Morell, chairman of FVS, said on behalf of the group: ‘We are disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

‘They are effectively patronising us and this is now a democratic issue.

‘We got an overwhelming majority and yet the consultation was passed over. It is outrageous that they have not taken it into account.

‘They perhaps see it as a diminution of their powers but at the end of the day it’s a democratic decision and this report will now be put to the council where we hope they will now make the right decision.’

Councillors are set to decide on the next course of action following the report at a full council meeting on Thursday at the civic offices.

They will decide either to make no changes or to form a parish council or alternatively, a parish meeting.

FVS have said that if the council does not decide to form a parish council for the village then they will request a referendum on the topic.

Mr Morell added: ‘When you look at what happened with Brexit, if that vote had been ignored, it would have been a disgrace so we feel the same on this matter.

The meeting at the Civic Offices starts at 6pm.

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